Can Barcelona turnaround their 4 goal deficit at the Camp Nou against PSG

Barcelona enters the second leg of the round of sixteen of the Champions League with a four goal deficit on their backs. No team has ever comeback from 4-0 and advance to the next round.

Can Barcelona make history

“If there is a team capable of overcoming a 4-0, it is Barca” said Luis Suarez in an interview with France Football. “We still have to play the second leg. It is not going to be easy to turn things around, but it is not impossible. We have the quality and the character to come out of this situation.”

Barcelona plays at home with el tridente of Messi, Neymar and Suarez so anything is possible. The energy in the stadium is going to be electrifying. Luis Enrique mentioned that he watched the first leg several times to figure out what went wrong. He does not expect the same defensive breakdowns this time around and more opportunities in front of goal at the other end.

Messi, Neymar and Suarez celebrate a goal vs Leganes
Is PSG ready

PSG is aware of the challenge of playing at the Camp Nou even with a four goal cushion. Playmaker Javier Pastore is targeting a start against Barcelona, a timely boost for PSG. “I am ready to play and I want to play,” said Pastore. “I have no pain anywhere whatsoever.”

Pastore challenges Nancy’s Aït Bennasser

He knows what is going to take to defend the result. “We will go there to win,” Pastore added.”It is going to be a difficult and hotly contested match. We need to be at 100 percent, physically. It will be crucial to defend as a unit when Barcelona are on the attack.”

Keys to a Barca comeback

Barcelona has won four straight matches after the debacle in Parc des Princes. One of the victories came against Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon, that kept Barcelona in the title race. They have scored eleven goals in the last two games, a sign of confidence going into this crucial match.

Ter Stegen’s form will be a deciding factor in preventing PSG from scoring an away goal and ending any chance of a comeback. Scoring an early goal is a most to get the crowd involved and for the players to feed off of the energy coming from the stands.

Believe

One last thing: all the players have to believe in themselves and trust that the coaching staff is putting them in a position to succeed. We have seen incredible comebacks in sports in the last few years. I am sure all Cules around the world will be cheering and believing to make this possible.

–Al Milian

 

Matt Harvey returns to the mound on Sunday

Matt Harvey is ready to make his return to the mound in the Grapefruit League as the Mets host the Cardinals in Port St Lucie, FL. The game is scheduled for 1:05 PM and can be watched on MLB.TV.

Harvey’s 2016 season was cut short when he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, undergoing surgery to remove a rib to correct the issue. “Last season was kind of a struggle,” Harvey said when interviewed on Saturday. “Obviously, I want to help this team and contribute as much as I can, and that starts Sunday. I couldn’t feel better.” His goal is to return to the form that saw him pitching in the World Series in 2015 and his All-Star season in 2013.

Collins on Harvey’s return

Manager Terry Collins wants Harvey to take it slow and doesn’t want him to over do it in his return. “He’s had some very, very good bullpen sessions,” Collins said. “I don’t want him to overthrow. I just want him to get out there and get himself in some rhythm where he throws strikes. “I know that he feels good about where he’s at right now, and I just want him to carry it into tomorrow.”

Everybody is anxious to see what Harvey can do on Sunday. Mets fans hope their ace can take them to another World Series appearance. It all starts Sunday at First Data Field, although Harvey admitted he needs until close to Opening Day to know how much progress he has made.

–Al Milian

 

How much better are the Cavs with Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut

Williams and Bogut, welcome to the Cavs

Lebron James is about the get the help he so desperately wanted. The Cavs added Deron Williams on Monday and are expected to sign Andrew Bogut after he clears waivers on Wednesday.

Deron Williams spent the last two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, serving as their starting point guard. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.35 assists in 105 games with the Mavs. The recent signing of Yogi Ferrell triggered the decision to waive Williams, as the Mavs try to build around Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes.

Andrew Bogut arrived to the Dallas Mavericks on a trade made by the Warriors in the off-season. The trade freed up the necessary salary cap space for Kevin Durant’s signing. Dallas was not impressed with Bogut when it decided to package him in a trade to acquire Nerlens Noel before the deadline.

The Cavaliers get an experienced point guard in Deron Williams to back up Kyrie Irving and run the second unit. Williams is going to need sometime to adjust to the new system, 20 plus games should be enough. Andrew Bogut is a good rim protector and defender, even though his offensive game is limited.

How much better are the Cavs

The Cavaliers are going to be a better team once all the pieces come together. JR Smith should come back from injury within the next two weeks, it is a shame that Kevin Love went down. He is expected to return for the playoffs. Is it enough to defeat the Golden State Warriors and repeat as NBA champions? We have to wait to find out, it is too soon to tell.

The Golden State Warriors just lost Kevin Durant for the rest of the regular season. He left the game against the Wizards on Tuesday with a knee injury. Durant should be back for the playoffs, according to the Golden State Warriors. If Durant is not 100% in the playoffs, the Cavaliers would have an advantage if they meet in the finals.

World Baseball Classic starts in 5 days

The 2017 World Baseball Classic kicks off in 5 days and baseball fans can’t wait for it to get started. After a long off-season, the cravings are there to see their favorite players in action.

The first round of the competition is going to be played in four cities around the world: Seoul (South Korea), Tokyo (Japan), Miami (USA) and Jalisco (Mexico). Round two moves to Tokyo (Japan) and San Diego (USA) and the final is set in Los Angeles (USA).

All teams in the tournament have at least one player from the Majors, except the Cuban team. Th Cuban government does not allow players that defected from the country to represent them in the competition. Players with the caliber of Jose Abreu, Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman won’t be in the tournament.

Cuba used to dominate international baseball competition, winning three of five gold Olympic medals but have yet to win at the World Baseball Classic. Excluding players from the MLB will hurt the team and diminishes their chance at winning the tournament for the first time.

The stage is set, the teams are ready and fans all over the world can’t wait for the WBC to start. Let’s enjoy the tournament and let the best team win.

–Al Milian

Real Madrid nightmare at Mestalla continues

Real Madrid missed another chance to increase their lead at the top of La Liga Santander after falling to Valencia by a score of 2-1 at Mestalla Stadium.

Mestalla has become a nightmare for Los Blancos who have not won at this stadium since 2013, in a 2-3 victory thanks to a goal by Jese Rodriguez that broke the tie 8 minutes before the end of the game. Two early goals by Simone Zaza (4′) and Fabian Orellana (9′) were enough to steal 3 points from La Liga leaders who reduced the lead 1-2 before half-time, thanks to a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Madrid had possession of ball through out the game, but was not able to take full advantage of it. Zidane introduced Bale and Lucas Vazquez in the second half but neither one made a significant impact on the game. Valencia on the other hand focused on defense as the game progressed with goalkeeper Diego Alves having another great performance.

Real Madrid remain atop of La Liga with 52 points and one game at hand, Barcelona is second with 51 points. Both teams have very important matches this weekend, Real Madrid away at Villareal and Barcelona plays Atletico Madrid at the Calderon. The results could reshape the race for the tittle one more time.

–Al Milian

Blockbuster trade for DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins was enjoying his time in New Orleans for the NBA All-Star weekend, little did he know he was being traded as the All-Star game unfolded.

News of the trade broke minutes after the game was over and DeMarcus Cousins was as shocked as most Sacramento Kings fans. The details of the trade are as follows: The Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans in exchange for: Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and its 2017 first-round and second-round pick. Watch Cousins’ reaction after the All-Star game.

Kings GM Vlade Divac said Monday that this was the best offer they had at the time of the trade and when asked why he didn’t wait until closer to the trade deadline on Thursday he said, “Most likely we would get less, because I had a better deal two days ago.”

This deal was a slamp dunk for the New Orleans Pelicans who get an All-Star player in Cousins to form the best front-court in the NBA together with Anthony Davis. The question remains if New Orleans can convince Cousins to resign with them after the 2017-18 season when he becomes a free agent. For now, they can make a push for the playoffs and try to find other pieces to complement Anthony and Cousins.

The Sacramento Kings were heavily criticized for deal, they should have gotten more for giving up their franchise player. The rebuild process starts all over again for a team that has not made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season. Ownership and management have high hopes for Buddy Hield and the draft prospects, I hope Kings fans share the same optimism.

–Al Milian

 

The future of Tony Romo

Tony Romo is expected to be released by the Dallas Cowboys after thirteen seasons with the team.

The emergence of quaterback Dak Prescott together with Romo’s age and recent injury history, are the likely causes for the team’s decision. The Cowboys would like to get some of their investment back on a trade, but his contract makes it very difficult to execute. Romo signed a signed a six-year, $119.5 million deal in 2013 and has three years left in that contract.

Possible destinations for Romo are the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears. According to Colin Cowherd, host of the “The Herd” the only two teams with a shot at Romo are the Houston Texans and the Arizona Cardinals because they are closer to home, have offensive minded coaches and are title contenders.

Tony Romo is the all-time leader in passing yards (34,183) for the Cowboys, but would be leaving Dallas with only two playoff victories to his name.

–Al Milian